Enthroned Obsidium

Enthroned Obsidium
Belgian black metal royalty Enthroned return with Obsidium, their ninth studio release, conducting a blend of dark elements with a tone that's not too complex. The album opens with "Sepulchred Within Opaque Slumber," a sonically sombre intro that challenges tempo changes by maintaining a pummelling beat. As Nornagest leads his cohorts with a vile rasp, the band follow a well-orchestrated formula that remains true to primitive, raw black metal while adding elements of death that aren't pretentious. With proof of great minor chords and interludes, the blast beats aren't extreme and overbearing, while tremolo is balanced with clear, intricate soloing and strums. Though things start to sound repetitive between "The Final Architect" and "Petraolevm Salvia," the drone and aesthetic ambience of "Oblivious Shades" is redemption for the stale air. The finest track, "Horns Aflame," with its contrast of clean vs. dirty vocals, sacrilegious ramblings and whiplash-inducing musicality, sums up the record in all its brutality, satisfactory to Enthroned's extreme rule. (Agonia)